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Palgrave Macmillan

British and French Colonialism in Africa, Asia and the Middle East

Connected Empires across the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Centuries

  • Book
  • © 2019


  • Compares British and French colonialism from the eighteenth century to the mid-twentieth century
  • Unites Francophone and Anglophone historians to speak both to British imperial historians and a wider international readership
  • Presents a broad range of Anglo-French connections, including in Sub-Saharan Africa, in the Middle East, at sea, in imperial administration and during World War II and decolonization

Part of the book series: Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies (CIPCSS)

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Table of contents (13 chapters)


About this book

This book examines the connections between the British Empire and French colonialism in war, peace and the various stages of competitive cooperation between, in which the two empires were often frères ennemis. It argues that in crucial ways the British and French colonial empires influenced each other. Chapters in the volume consider the two empires' connections in North, West and Central Africa, as well as their entanglement at sea in the Mediterranean Sea, Persian Gulf and South China Sea. Also analysed are their mutual engagement with Islam in both the Hajj and various religiously inflected colonial revolts, their mutually-informed systems of administration in the New Hebrides and generally, and the interconnected ways the two empires fought World War II and decolonization. By uniting historians of France and her colonies with historians of Britain and her colonies, this volume speaks to a broad international and imperial history audience.


“From the movements of people and goods to the interactions of languages and ideas, the global impact of British and French colonialism was subject to constant interaction. Often framed in terms of competition and rivalry, this collection reveals the depth of connection between the two Empires, and is a very welcome addition to the emergent literature on the phenomenon of “co-imperialism”.” (Martin Thomas, Professor of Imperial History, University of Exeter, UK)

Editors and Affiliations

  • European Studies, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong

    James R. Fichter

About the editor

James R. Fichter is Associate Professor of European Studies at the University of Hong Kong. His next book, Suez Passage to India: Britain, France, and the Great Game at Sea, 1798-1885, examines the Anglo-French relationship in Asia as mediated by the Suez Canal.

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